With COVID-19 throwing everything up into the air right now, those seeking summer jobs, and those keeping an eye on the summer ahead may wonder why we’re still announcing recent hires and still putting out the call for more help wanted. You may also wonder how we can be hiring and still maintain social distancing.
In the end it all comes down to what every summer comes down to — preparing for the summer ahead. During this time of year we’re always in the throes of planning for our upcoming summer. We attend camp conferences, host Administrative Team and Head Counselor brainstorming and planning sessions, attend hiring fairs, and prepare in our winter office everything from paperwork to service contracts to ongoing building projects and more.
So we’d be doing all of this anyway. The only added factor this spring is that we have to do it all under the cloud of COVID-19 and all the uncertainty that it is breeding. And of course, now that all our in-person events have been canceled everything is being done at a distance — by email, phone, Skype, Zoom, etc.
But if we stopped all of our staff planning, official hiring, and staffing outreach (help wanteds) we’d be in a far more unstable position as the summer draws nearer and nearer. That’s why we’ve chosen to hope for the best (camp is open, tents are packed, summer is awesome) and prepare for the worst (camp or some portion of camp is cancelled and our hearts are broken!)
How Do We Get Our Amazing Staff?
Hiring camp staff in the best of times is a rather big to-do. There are best practices to learn each year about what each new generation of workers is seeking in employment and how best to relate to them and guide them.
There are hiring fairs to attend at schools and universities and even abroad.
There are so many different level jobs to recruit — from Junior Counselors up to our many Department Heads, special events crew, kitchen and hospitality staff, short-term guest counselors and staff, Nannies for the Administrative Team’s on-site families, Lifesaving teams for Waterfront, the Green team to work the facilities, and leadership and Head Counselor positions. Each require different skill assets and aptitudes and we need to present these in unique ways and interface with those candidates in different ways.
We have to line up all relevant paperwork from health forms and letters of recommendation to international visas and much more. We need to check credentials and references, and ready everyone for payroll.
We need to have various different trainings such as rifle and archery certifications scheduled, and our own on-site training that runs before and during Mini Camp.
And this just scratches the surface of our many tasks related to our all-important staffing, the very people who are on the front lines with our campers! So as you can imagine this is HUGELY important to us. And that means there is NO WAY we could just put this on hold until we find out from relevant agencies like the state of West Virginia, the Center for Disease Control, and the American Camp Association if camp will or won’t be happening this summer.
Help Wanted, Fingers Crossed!
So as you see our calls for help wanted going out on social media please understand that a prudent and forward-thinking organization will always be planning for all eventualities.
We continue to be bolstered by news that stringent measures for people to shelter in place and self-restrict movement in order to support flattening the epidemic curve are working — that we may be well past the worst of this by the time camp opens in the second half of June.
Join us in holding in our hearts and minds the strongest wishes for the good health of everyone the globe over, and the good health of all in our ‘Ghany community, and the best possible chance for camp to open this summer with happy, healthy campers and a vibrant, ready, healthy staff! APPLY TODAY.
— Elizabeth Shreckhise, Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls